Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Newt Makes Sense

During last night's debate, which centered on foreign policy and national security, Newt Gingrich may have been the only one, aside from Ron Paul, who said anything that broke against the party policy lines. Gingrich, who has been driving up in the polls, recently got flack from a lot of people for suggesting that students in schools be made to do janitorial work. During last night's debate, this did not come up, but Gingrich redeemed himself somewhat, at least in my mind, by making a strong case for reasonable deportation exceptions on illegal immigrants.

While many of the other candidates berated Newt for this, he stuck to his views, which is a nice change from the sniveling pandering to absolute conservative doctrine that these debates usually entail. Newt made the point that, if an illegal immigrant that came here 25 years ago has set up shop, had their family, joined a church and gotten involved in the community, it is not in the best interests of anyone to deport them back to their own country. Gingrich noted that this does not apply to illegals who have no ties to America or who break other laws while they are here. In fact, Gingrich even said that those who have been here a long time and have families here should be allowed to be made into legal residents, even if they are not considered full citizens.

This last point is a good one, but it went right over most of the other candidates' heads. They all claimed this was "amnesty" which it's not. Amnesty involves making the immigrant a full citizen with all the rights that entails. What Gingrich said is that you make the person a legal resident, so that they are no longer labeled and illegal alien. I think the distinction Gingrich was trying to make is that immigrants legalized in this way may be counted in a census, taxed, and allowed to have driver's licenses and work here under their real names, but that they are not full citizens, and therefore cannot hold office, vote, or have any of those rights that are afforded to citizens only. That is an important view to take, because it represents a significant departure from the black-and-white, all-or-nothing mantra of the Right, and is a relatively reasonable proposal.

Other candidates tried to make claims about solving the illegal immigration issues, including increasing border security, finishing the fence, applying more border agents, and cutting back on the things that lure immigrants here. This last point especially was disheartening to hear, since many of the things that lure illegals here are what lure legal immigrants and what make America a great nation. To say that we should give that up is ridiculous.

Overall, I think Newt made some good  points, and only Ron Paul really beat him out on the debate in my opinion. While I still hold reservations about the candidates, Gingrich has gained some of my respect for this debate. Who knows, maybe he'll shed some of his more ridiculous views in order to appeal to people like me.


samp said...

What about ILLEGAL do these people not understand? Even Newt only wants votes. It's BS to allow U.S. laws to be broken and it's ludicrous that those who do break them benefit from breaking them just because there are so many of them....Legal immigrants YES; Illegal aliens NO.
They cost us too much in taxes to support their education, health care etc. And whatever you call it, what Newt proposes is amnesty. period. You wan these people to stay here change the law to allow it. Do we really want millions of new job seekers competing for jobs when our own citizens out of work to the tune of about 15% We are giving our country away. Doesn't that frighten anyone? It does me. Illegal is Illegal.

Chain-thinker said...

@samp Look at what happened in Alabama. The illegal workers all left to avoid persecution, and no American has taken those jobs. You can argue that we have a high unemployment rate, but how far would that drop if all the illegals left? I'm willing to bet not much because people don't want to take those jobs.

And yes, the person who has been here for 25 years illegally is still illegal. However, I don't think that deportation is the answer in every case. Would you deport a mother who has three children born in the US (and therefore citizens)? Or would you agree to putting her in a legalization program like what Newt referred to? Like I pointed out in the post, this would make the woman a legal resident, but not a citizen. She would not qualify for aid of any kind, including social security or medicare. Her children would qualify as citizens, though, but they should only get support for things like education services.

Kick out the people who don't have families or ties to America. Force them to come in under the proper guidelines. Use immigrant labor to help America. Expand worker programs. If you do that, I think illegal immigration will be reduced.